The correct medical term for tennis elbow is “lateral epicondylitis”, which infers pain and inflammation around the bony part of the outer elbow. Interestingly, only 5% of people get tennis elbow from playing racquet sports.
Symptoms of lateral epicondylitis:
• Outer elbow pain and/or stiffness;
• Difficulty, weakness and pain in gripping an object, opening a jar, or bending the arm;
• Radiating pain to the muscles of the forearm, towards the wrist.
Causes of lateral epicondylitis:
• Trauma to the elbow;
• Repetitive/strenuous action of the muscles of the outer forearm;
• Unusual activity which the body is not used to, for example, gardening or decorating;
• Playing racquet sports, such as tennis, badminton or squash;
• Playing throwing sports, such as javelin or discus.
One cause is poor posture, with protracted shoulders, increasing the curve of your middle back (thoracic spine), leading to more strain on the neck (cervical spine) and upper shoulders.
With the shoulders in a misaligned state, too much pressure is placed upon the elbows, where a tiny bone called the lateral epicondyle bears the brunt, having several muscles attached to it, running down to the wrist and fingers.
This leads to inflammation of the lateral epicondyle, henceforth the term “lateral epicondylitis”.
Treatment of lateral epicondylitis:
Treatment depends on the cause of why lateral epicondylitis has occurred, and which structures and tissues in the body are involved. Osteopathic treatment can help alleviate the pain of lateral epicondylitis, combined with rest from activity and hot/cold therapy. The number of sessions however depends on the person and adherence to the advice recommended. Invasive treatment, such as surgery is usually avoided.
If you are suffering pain or discomfort, book an appointment or give us a call. Why suffer?
Zahir Chaudhary, BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), ND, M Ost.Med. MSCCO
Call: 0208 423 6209; 0792 100 4705
Chelsea Osteopaths, 208 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London. SW10 9PJ.
Harrow Osteopathic Clinic, 9 Littleton Road, Harrow, Middlesex. HA1 3SY.
Wembley Osteopaths, 31 Norval Road, North Wembley, Middlesex. HA0 3TD.
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